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Core Requirements for Main Visa Categories

All Japanese visas are based on a certain activity in Japan (for example, work or study), a relationship with someone who is based in Japan or a close connection with the Japanese country.

Therefore, generally when applying for any kind of Work Visa or Non-Working Activities Visa, it is necessary to have a hosting organization in Japan - most commonly an employer for a work visa application, a company in Japan which the applicant wishes to operate or an educational institution for a student visa application. The only exception for this is for special Work Visa categories like the journalist visa (in cases where the applicant intends to work in Japan as a journalist on behalf of a foreign media organization) and the artist visas (where the activities are generally more independent than other roles), being special categories where a visa sponsor is not required. This hosting organization is often referred to as the “visa sponsor” and it is necessary to secure this visa sponsor before applying for a visa. The visa sponsor must provide various documents and information in relation to its business, financials and taxes for the Work Visa application.

Similarly, when applying for a Family Related Visa based on a relationship with someone who is based in Japan (for example, when an applicant who is married to a Japanese national applies for a spouse visa), in is necessary to have an inviter / certain family member in Japan (commonly the Japanese spouse for a spouse visa application). The inviter / family member must provide various documents and information in relation to his / her work, income and taxes for the Family Related Visa application.

In addition to this general requirement, there are more detailed requirements that are designated per visa category. Below is a general explanation of the key requirements for each of the most common visa categories. However, please note that the specifics may vary depending on each situation.

Business Manager Visa

ROLE: For small companies, this visa is only granted to the one executive member who is in the top ranking officer position. For mid-sized to large companies, this visa is granted to those who are in executive positions or management positions.

  1. To establish a company and invest at least 5 million yen into the business (this money can be later use for the company’s business activities, like supplying costs, paying salaries and office rent, etc.), or to have already established a company meeting the foresaid investment requirement;
  2. To fulfill the role requirement above
  3. The business should be at least a certain size and cannot be too small. For small, new companies, the actual or forecasted business size (or forecasted business size for new businesses) should be one that usually would be expected to require the involvement of one or a few full or part time employees, but the employment in itself is actually not a requirement.
  4. To have a business address which should be a physical, dedicated office space (separated by door and walls) that only your business / company uses, which is contracted for business use. Arrangements where you are allocated a dedicated desk inside a shared room with others and virtual addresses will not meet the requirements. We recommend a contract length of at least one year, and if creating a company, the contract should be under your company name (if the counterparty does not allow you to contract under the company name before the actual establishment has been completed, you can contract under your personal name during the initial stages, but the contract should be changed over to the company name after the establishment has been completed).
  5. The applicant will need to show that he/she has the skills to operate a business, based on educational and/or work experience
  6. The applicant needs to receive a monthly salary of at least 250,000 yen from the Japanese company after obtaining the visa. The required minimum salary will depend on each case, and will be high for those who are more experienced and have more family members to support in Japan.

Generally when obtaining this visa with a relatively new and / or small business, the first visa granted is usually a one year visa. In order to be able to maintain / renew the visa smoothly, Immigration looks at business size, which is determined based on factors like company revenue, expenses and employee headcount.

Certified as Immigration Lawyers by the Immigration Office of Japan, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other immigration procedures.

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